Can Games get Real? A Closer Look at "Documentary" Digital Games
Co-authored with Cindy Poremba, in the Games as a Sociocultural Phenomenon collection
Digital games are commonly celebrated for their realism, but this is typically a reference to their visual verisimilitude rather than an association with something actual. As games begin to push past traditional boundaries and contexts, a new genre, of sorts, has begun to emerge; one which uses real people, places and subjects as its referents. Sometimes called “documentary games,” these works attempt to make some tangible connection to the outside world. In doing so, new issues emerge, not only concerning the representation of real subjects, but on the appropriateness of doing so within a form commonly used for entertainment.
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